Marketing automation is pretty amazing, yet many business leaders don’t really know how it works. They are missing opportunities to grow their companies cost effectively.
There is much marketing automation can do to help grow your business. It is very surprising to me just how many companies, even those with substantial marketing budgets, are not fully utilizing this resource.
Tips to Maximize Marketing Automation with Lead Scoring
In this blog post, I’ll review some of the most common questions we hear in regards to marketing automation and, in particular, lead scoring—one of its best and most useful tools.
Let’s take a closer look at marketing automation lead scoring. We’ll get you really clear on how you can use this to improve lead quality and close more sales.
First, I’ll provide an overview of marketing automation.
What is marketing automation?
There are many ways to describe marketing automation. One of the best is email marketing on steroids! It allows you to email thousands of prospects according to their interest and specific market segments using campaigns and content calendars. The process is automated and keeps your brand in the forefront of prospective customers’ minds.
Marketing automation lead scoring is also a way of segmenting and targeting prospects based on the buying signals they provide. People showing interest in your products or services receive a different level of information than those who are not engaging with your brand.
This helps your sales team be more efficient and keeps you from wasting prospects’ time if they are not currently interested. This is tracked in your marketing automation software through lead scoring.
What is marketing automation lead scoring?
Think of it as a way to check and track the temperature of your prospects.
Everything a prospective customer does online can be tracked. Marketing automation lead scoring is when we assign values to these various activities based on their worth to us. Website visits, email opens and a host of other online interactions all cause a prospect’s score to accumulate over time.
Prospects with higher scores can be flagged for calls by the sales team. Likewise, negative scores can be applied for activities showing lower levels of engagement.
What activities should be scored?
The activities of prospective customers you score can vary and depend on your marketing goals. Here are a few common activities to score in your marketing automation app.
- Website visits
- Email opens
- Email click throughs
- Submission forms
- Blog visits
- Webinar registrations
- Online sales
Here are a few examples of activities leading to a negative score.
- Email unsubscribes or bounces
- Emails not opened
- Length of time with no activity
Any activity with strategic importance to your sales goals can and should be scored. Eventually, if a score gets low enough, prospects can be removed from the marketing automation database.
What’s the best software?
Marketing automation lead scoring requires software. Our favorite is HubSpot. Do your homework to find what works best for your company. HubSpot is a market leader, but many other options exist and new alternatives appear on a regular basis.
How does it connect with my CRM?
The main focus of the CRM is as a tool for your sales team. Marketing automation software should support the sales team and coordinate efforts with marketing. Issues can arise when sales reps are actively pursuing prospects who are both in your company’s CRM and in the marketing automation software. The solution is to make sure marketing and sales teams are working together with common goals.
Sales reps should be involved in marketing automation lead scoring and contributing to the process. Most of the best CRMs fully integrate with marketing automation. One of the most common integrations is SalesForce (CRM) and HubSpot (marketing automation).
Do we need help from a marketing agency?
Yes, most companies will need help to get marketing automation launched and lead scoring in place. This may include integrations with your website and your CRM. A digital agency can also help with the strategic set-up, content, graphics and more.
We encourage our clients to train their team members to maintain their marketing automation lead scoring over time so they are less dependent on their agency or software vendor. It’s important to engage an agency when getting started with these tools.
How much does it cost?
There is a wide range of costs. Most companies offer free versions or inexpensive options to start. Call the software company directly and work with them on pricing. You will end up spending more over time as the results come in and your database grows. The key is to measure the return in better-quality leads and increased sales.
What are the possible pitfalls?
For one, this is hard work. There is no magic bullet. The set-up phase is the most time-consuming and ongoing monitoring is needed. You can’t expect results in a few weeks, it will take a few months for your marketing automation lead scoring to pay off.
Make sure you are working with a team of experts to get it right the first time. Don’t be too ambitious to start, take it one step at a time and grow into the program.
How do we get started?
Knowing when to get started is important. Generally, once a company develops over one thousand contacts there will be a benefit to having marketing automation. It can start with fewer names, but may not have enough momentum and numbers to score and track leads.
How can Intuitive Websites help with marketing automation lead scoring?
We follow our Four-Step Process and make sure your strategy is set first. We work with you on the best methods for communicating the strategy to your target market. From there, we move on to the third step of implementing a comprehensive inbound marketing plan and action items. Marketing automation lead scoring is a part of step three. In step four, we help set goals and track the key measurable items as a part of a marketing scorecard.
Chances are if you have been thinking about marketing automation then it’s time to get started. The good news is you don’t have to go it alone—we are here to help.
You can start by scheduling a free consultation here and begin moving your company towards sales growth, improved marketing results and solid ROI.